Medals for World War II service catch up with veteran at Prairie Village celebration

Rev. Oliver Lindeblad with daughter Janet Janzen and son Bob Lindeblad.
Rev. Oliver Lindeblad with daughter Janet Janzen and son Bob Lindeblad.

Nearly 68 years have passed since Rev. Oliver Lindeblad completed his service in World War II and headed home in 1945. But on this Veterans Day in 2013, his medals for that service finally caught up with him.

Monday night, Bob Lindeblad hosted a gathering at his Prairie Village home to honor his 95-year-old father. Among the 50 or more guests was Congressman Kevin Yoder, who presented the elder Lindeblad with four medals earned during Lindeblad’s service in Europe.

Rev. Lindeblad, who now lives in Wichita, entered the Army Air Corps in 1942 and in 1944 was on a ship headed for Europe. He spent most of his European service in Foggia, Italy, where he was a aircraft bomber inspector who inspected damage on planes as they came back from missions.

After VE Day, he finished out his service in Casablanca. It wasn’t until after he returned from service that he became a Lutheran minister.

Bob Lindeblad, who is a member of the Prairie Village Planning Commission, said his father had related over Memorial Day that he had won some medals during the war, but had never filed the paperwork to receive them. That set in motion the events that led to the Monday night celebration.

Rev. Lindeblad was presented with the American Campaign Medal, the Europe/Africa/Middle East Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.